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How I significantly increased my online customer base

Principles in generating new and return customers for every business

While not a physical business, but an internet site with a dedicated customer base, the following four points and what they mean for any business may be instructive.

Over a three month period I substantially increased the number of unique visitors to a site I own by doing four very simple things:

1. Placed the new Google translator into the home page. It can translate the page and automatically all subsequent pages into 35 different languages. Allows individuals to translate into their own language, and.while not a professional translation, it does give the basics of each page and enhances the visitor's  experience.
IN GENERAL:  Ease communicaton between yourself and your customer base. Similar to a restaurant having menus in each of the languages of its major customer groups, or using pictures to portray each product.

2. Put the Google search facility which searches the site (as well as an option to search the internet)  into the home page and each of the major pages usually visited. Allowed people to find what they were searching for and remain in the site.
IN GENERAL:  If it's related to your product, have it available so that the customer will not have to spend time and money going elsewhere to buy.

3. Requested from an excellent site in a related field if I could place his RSS feed on the home page. Gave visitors added depth of knowledge and a reason to return because of the increased funcitonality of the site.
IN GENERAL:  Give the customer added value which will enhance his visit, prompting a return in the future.

4. Wrote two new pages relating to the current world situation giving significant references as a jumping off place to further information and help. This last one was not so simple, and in fact generated the lowest percentage increase of the four. But it all added up. Added new categories of information which were picked up by the search engines and earned the site new visitors.
IN GENERAL:  Constantly improve the quality and availability of products the customer needs. Announcements of a new product is an excellent way of attracting new customers who may also be interest in other items. Or the look at it from another standpoint, the customer knows where he is. If he  asks for something, it may mean that the product fits and perhaps should be available.

(c) copyright J. Morgan Thomas 2009 All rights reserved